The particular prospect of generating pollution-free power on the sun’s rays is appealing, but to-date the low price of oil combined with your high costs of developing different technology have prevented the popular adoption of solar power in the united states and beyond. With a current cost of 25 to help 50 cents per kilowatt-hour, solar power costs about five times more than traditional fossil fuel-based electricity. And also dwindling supplies of polysilicon, the element present in traditional photovoltaic cells, may not be helping.
The Politics of A solar panel
In accordance with Gary Gerber of the Berkeley, California-based Sunrays Light & Power, not long after Ronald Reagan moved in to the White House in 1980 and removed the solar collectors from the roof that Jimmy Carter acquired installed, tax credits for solar development disappeared and the industry plunged “over a cliff. ”
Federal spending on solar panel technology picked up under the Clinton management, but trailed off again once George W. Bush needed office. But growing climate change worries along with high oil prices have forced the Bush administration to reconsider it is stance on alternatives like sun, and the White House has proposed $148 million for solar energy development in 2007, up almost 80 percent from what it committed to 2006.
Increasing the Efficiency and Lowering the money necessary for Solar Power
While in the realm of research and improvement, enterprising engineers are working hard to get solar power’s prices down, and expect it that they are price-competitive with fossil fuels inside of 20 years. One technological innovator is California-based Nanosolar, which replaces the silicon utilized to absorb sunlight and convert it into electricity with a thin film of copper, indium, gallium and selenium (CIGS).
Nanosolar’s Martin Roscheisen states that CIGS-based cells are flexible plus more durable, generating them easier to install in many applications. Roscheisen expects he will be able to build a 400-megawatt electricity grow crops for about a tenth of the price of a comparable silicon-based plant. Various other companies making waves with CIGS-based photo voltaic cells include New York’s DayStar Technologies and also California’s Miasolé.
Another recent innovation in solar is the co-called “spray-on” cellular, such as those made by Massachusetts’ Konarka. For instance paint, the composite can be sprayed on to other components, where it could possibly harness the sun’s infrared rays to power mobile phones and other portable or cellular devices. A few analysts think spray-on cells could become five times extremely effective than the current photovoltaic regular.
Vc's Investing in Solar Power
Environmentalists and mechanical engineers aren’t the only real ones bullish on solar currently. In line with the Cleantech Venture Network, a forum of investors considering clean renewable energy, venture capitalists poured some $100 million into solar start-ups off sizes in 2006 alone, and expect to commit all the more money in 2007. Given the investment capital community’s interest in relatively short-term results, it’s a fantastic bet that some of today’s promising solar start-ups will be tomorrow’s energy behemoths.